Stories from the Somerville-Tiznit Sister Cities (part 5)

by karen Krolak

Part of a continuing series on Karen and Jason's trip to Morocco with 28 other people from Somerville...including Mayor Joseph Curtatone.

It is strange to remember that a month ago we were waiting for a bus at the Casablanca airport. Uff, I had such ambitious plans for writing about my trip. Between all the holidays and getting prepped for the Cool New York Dance Festival, however, I have fallen a bit behind.

Our camera's lens froze up almost as soon as we arrived so Jason and I had to rely on our phones for snapshots. These photos remind me of the formality, or perhaps ceremonious tone, of our activities. Somehow I had not expected to be

greeted by the Governor at the Agadir airport. He lead us to a private lounge area where we were served refreshing mint tea before being whisked off to dinner.

The following morning we attended a ceremony at the Culture Center and listened to several presentations about Tiznit and Somerville. I wish I had been able to get a shot of the beautiful billboard-sized banner that hung over the stage.

Our delegation reminded me of a mass of cotton candy as more and more people swept into our group. After every activity, new faces joined us on the bus and

swarms of reporters and photographers followed Mayor Curtatone and the rest of us as we toured sites.

Between the jetlag and the non-stop introductions, I was quickly overwhelmed with names. As my daners can attest, names are not my strong suit. At one point I met two gregarious students named Rachid and Redouan. Poor Redouan was so frustrated evry time he bumped into me after that. He would always ask if I remembered meeting him at the Culture Center and I would say, "Yes, your name is...is...not Rachid."

to be continued...

To comply with recent legislation regarding blogging, I should mention that my trip was sponsored by University of the Middle East project, The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in concert with Sister Cities International, the City of Somerville, the City of Tiznit and the Moroccan American Cultural Center. My G1 was a birthday present from a dear friend and loyal Monkeyhouse supporter at Google. Readers should know that my experiences would not be typical for anyone else.

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